There is still a faint shred of hope. The Booker longlist also includes Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Haddon is a man after my own heart, in the sense that he too appears to believe that poodles are the most expendable of the canine species. This is what he said to the Washington Post: “Poodles are slightly annoying dogs,” says Haddon. “Dogs are meant to be a kind of butch animal, aren’t they? They’re meant to be big and sort of hairy and shaggy and smell a lot. Poodles are little and have hairstyles, and they’re preened and primped.” He giggles. “I think I quite like the idea of having a fork through one.”

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